Osman Yousefzada is a British born
interdisciplinary artist and writer.

Osman’s practice revolves around modes of storytelling, merging autobiography with fiction and ritual. His work is concerned with the representation and rupture of the migrational experience and makes reference to socio-political issues of today. These themes are explored through moving image, installations, text works, sculpture, garment making and performance.

Yousefzada is a research practitioner at the Royal College of Art, London and a visiting fellow at Cambridge University. His work has been shown at international institutions including: Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (solo 2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, V&A (solo 2022): Wapping Project, London; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Ringling Museum, Florida; Lahore Museum, Pakistan; Design Museum, London; Lahore Biennale, Pakistan; and Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh.

Yousefzada’s contemporary art practice has been described as "defiant", where the participating bodies throughout his work are presented as part objects that refuse to identify or conform. Most recently, his series of solo interventions titled What Is Seen & What Is Not was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, London. Across three site-specific works, this commission responded to the 75th anniversary of Pakistan independence and explored themes of displacement, movement, migration, and climate change. Furthermore, Yousefzada has been invited to exhibit at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024, a solo show hosted by the V&A and the Fondazione Berengo at the Palazzo Franchetti.

In his first book, The Go-Between (2022), set in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s, alternative masculinities compete with strict gender roles while female erasure and honour-based violence are committed, even as empowering female friendships prevail. This book was long listed for the Polari Prize, winning the Slightly Foxed memoir prize and reviewed by Stephen Fry as "one of the greatest childhood memoirs of our time."

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Solo Exhibitions

60th Venice Biennale, V&A & Fondazione Berengo
BRB Costumes & Scenography
Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford
University of Glasgow, Glasgow 

Stoke on Trent, British Ceramics Biennale

What is Seen & What is Not, Victoria & Albert Museum, London 

Being Somewhere Else, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
Annual Migrant Festival, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (Curator & Founder)

Public Art Installation

2021 Infinity Pattern 1Ikon Gallery & Selfridges Birmingham 
selected through an international competition

Group Shows

Life is More Important Than Art, Whitechapel Gallery, London
new commission & iteration of ‘An Immigrant’s Room of Her Own’

One That Includes Myth, Goodman Gallery, London 
artists include, El Anatsui, Ghada Amer, Yee I Lee, Johanna Unzueta

Alea Iacta Est, Vistamare, Milan 
curated by Milovan Farronato and artists include Anthea Hamilton, Celia Hempton, Goshka Macuga, Eddie Peake, Prem Sahib

Made in Birmingham/Made in Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney
‘Spaces of Transcendence’ (9 meter moving Image)

Glasstress, Berengo Studio, Venice

Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, Whitechapel Gallery, London
include film ‘Her Dreams Are Bigger’ & panel discussion

Malevich Symposium: The Power of Sound, 180 Strand, London
performative costumes for Haroon Mirza

A Rich Tapestry: Curated by Jonathan Watkins & Ayesha Khalid, Lahore Biennale, Lahore
new commission for ‘Huis-Clos (No Exit)’

between the sun and the moonLahore Biennale, Lahore
collaboration with Haroon Mirza on ‘A belief is not the truth because the truth is unbelievable’

Nightfall, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels
curated by Fernanda Brenner, Milovan Farronato, Erika Verzutti

Volcano Extravaganza, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli
performance with Cecilia Bengolea and Haroon Mirza

Total Anastrophes, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka
curated by Runa Islam and Milovan Farronato

The Fabric of India, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
organised by V&A Museum

The Fabric of India, Ringling  Museum, Florida
The Wedding Dresses 1775-2014, V&A Museum, London

                           Lahore Museum, Lahore
                           Central State Museum, Almaty
                           Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi
                           Style.uz, Tashkent
                           Bangladesh National Museum, Dhaka

Brit Insurance Design of the Year Awards, Design Museum, London

Jerwood: Fashion, Film and Fiction, The Wapping Project, London 


2021 /23 Royal College of Art, Sculpture

2022 Indus School of Art & Architecture, Textiles

2020 Birmingham School of Art, Printmaking

Studio Based Practice Led Research

Ph.D candidate @ Royal College of Art,
Sculpture via Textiles & Ceramics
a non-linear practice model to understand archives & memories of marginalised migrant communities through reconstructing materials


2022 What is Seen & What is Not – V&A
catalogue to accompany Osman Yousefzada’s solo exhibition with Essays from Hammad Nassar, Catherine Ince, Grant Watson

2022 The Go-Between – Canongate London 
a memoir through the eyes of a child growing up in a closed migrant community in central England

2018 Being Somewhere Else – Ikon Gallery
catalogue to accompany Osman Yousefzada’s solo exhibition with contributions from Diana Campbell Betancourt

Panel Talks / Lectures / Activism

Venice Architecture Biennale, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, Whitechapel Gallery, Royal College of Art, Central St Martins, Ikon Gallery, Facebook, Sky Arts, Sky News, BCU Birmingham School of Art, Newcastle University, Hays Literary Festival, British Council, Alternative Art Fair, Ubud Writers Festival - Bali, Edinburg Literary Festival, Cambridge Literary Festival, Oxford Literary Festival, Lahore Literary Festival - Pakistan, Indus School of Art & Architecture - Pakistan, Bradford Literary Festival, Borris Festival of Ideas - Ireland, Charleston Literary Festival.


Financial Times
A Migrants Tale Laid Bare

Studio International
Opening Doors for others people is key to what I do

Sculpture Magazine
Looking back to go forward

Another Magazine
A powerful new exhibition explores the migrant experience.

The Guardian
It can’t be ignored: Osman Yousefzada on his gigantic artwork   

Arts Newspaper
The Worlds largest Canvas  

The New York Times
On Racism and British Fashion

Dazed Magazine
Artist Osman Yousefzada’s new show is a personal reflection on migration

Vogue UK
Osman Yousefzada Launches A New Exhibition On The Experience Of Migration

Designer Osman Explores His Mother's Oppression In New Exhibit

Flash Art
Volcano Extravaganza 2018

i-D Magazine VICE
"I left my heart in stromboli" - Interview with Osman Yousefzada

With His Fashion Line and Now His Art, Osman Yousefzada Pays Tribute to His Mom

Samdani Art Foundation
Volcano Extravaganza | Total Anastrophies

The Guardian
Osman Yousefzada: 'Shades of unity in hope of a new brown and black coalition'

Osman Yousefzada On Changing the Fashion System

The Wall Street Journal
Barneys New York Sets An Art-Filled Scene

Business of Fashion
Fashion’s Darkest Truth

The Voice of Fashion
Osman Yousefzada on South Asian Design, European Faces and Brown Hands

Confined Artists – Free Spirits: Photographs from Lockdown

Osman Yousefzada, Being Somewhere Else at Ikon Gallery

Published Articles

Conversations From Calais
‘Where do you really come from?’
other writers include Ai Wei Wei

The Observer / The Guardian
’Nothing prepares you for the moment’

The Observer / The Guardian  
Shades of unity in hope of new brown and black coalition

Osman Yousefzada’s Memoir Charts His Journey From a Strict Religious Upbringing to Fashion Week

The Times
‘I was the go-between for two worlds’

British Vogue
On How Coronavirus Has Devastated “Forgotten Voices” In The BAME Community

The Collective (Editor & Publisher)
a zine collaborated with many creatives including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Prem Sahib, Stella Bottai